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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple's Breakfast Club Idea Turns Neighbors Into Friends

DEAR ABBY: In response to "Caught in the Middle in Connecticut," whose family disapproves of his love for an older woman who has a teen-age child, I would like to give him a bit of encouragement because my husband is six years younger than I am.

When we met he was 28 and I was 34. I am of Polynesian descent, was married twice before, and had a child out of wedlock. Believe me, my mother-in-law was not thrilled with me. She not only opposed our getting married, she was extremely against our having children together.

However, our relationship has endured and strengthened. We have been married 13 years. We have two beautiful children in addition to my son and his son.

Where there is love, commitment and communication between two people, age and past history make no difference. Also, my husband has never been one to let others interfere in his life, not even his mother. After all this time, she finally has accepted me as her daughter-in-law.

If he really cares for his older girlfriend, he should stay with her. It's their future, not his family's. -- TIME-TESTED IN ARIZONA

DEAR TIME-TESTED: I agree that the young man's future belongs to him. However, he may be emotionally tied to -- or perhaps financially dependent upon -- his parents, which is why they are giving him an ultimatum. The choice is his, but I cautioned him about making hasty decisions.